London, 1840: Wagner's latest opera plays to packed houses while disgruntled workers gather in crowded pubs to eat ice cream and plan the downfall of the bourgeoisie. And the Pirate Captain - his disguise proving something of a letdown - finds himself incarcerated in Scotland Yard, in a case of mistaken identity. Discovering that his doppelganger is none other than Karl Marx, the Captain and his crew are unwittingly caught up in a sinister plot to discredit the communists. From the gloomy streets of Soho to the leafy boulevards of Paris, The pirates! In an Adventure with Communists is a story of intellectual giants, enormous beards, volcanoes and valkyries, doubloons and dancing girls, and a quest to discover whether ham really might be the opium of the people.